Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It Is A Double Pleasure To Deceive The Deceiver*

Fig. 1. Friedrich Eduard Bilz - Das Neue Naturheilverfahren, vol. 3, c. 1910

'It is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. . . . Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many.'

Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)

* Niccolò Machiavelli

Addendum: My impressively erudite friend Julian has just brought Claudia Roth Pierpont's article about Machiavelli, recently published in The New Yorker, to my attention, adding; "The Prince itself is almost an act of deception - at odds with Machiavelli's general personal decency and quiet commitment to the Florentine republic." I thank him for his thoughtful contribution.